Hogg grew up in rural Ettrick Forest in a notable family of tradition-bearers, and in his first major poetry collection The Mountain Bard of 1807 he claims his rightful position at the centre of that culture. Whereas Scott collected the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border Hogg was the sole author of The Mountain Bard. He learned to negotiate the erudite print culture of Edinburgh with the literary ballad, sometimes helped and sometimes hindered by his powerful friend, shifting the shape of his earlier manuscript and periodical poems accordingly. Then in 1821, when he was an established literary man, he published a revised edition in keeping with his new professional status as Author of The Queen's Wake. The present edition prints together, for the first time, the surviving pre-1807 versions of poems included in The Mountain Bard, the full 1807 collection, and the complete 1821 version. The Introduction (besides giving a full history of this complex, changing work) places it firmly within the eighteenth-century antiquarian projects of ballad-collecting and the intellectual currents of Romanticism, in particular the literary vogue for the ballad shown in works such as Lyrical Ballads (1798) by Wordsworth and Coleridge.
About the Author
The modern edition of The Mountain Bard, first published in 1807, then revised for 1821, contains both of these editions: double helpings that reveal Hogg's gradual construction of himself as the true Borders Minstrel based on his first-hand knowledge of traditional ballads. Suzanne Gilbert ably describes the context surrounding the production of Hogg's 1807 volume and considers the influence of Walter Scott in securing its publication.
The edition has elaborate annotations and a detailed introduction, which is especially interesting in relation to the oral tradition and the early editions of ballad texts.